My Brothers and Sisters

by Lilly

My brother and sister
Always get a blister
By falling on the football pitch
Or falling in a muddy ditch
My dog is 82
he covered the cat in glue
I’m the only one in my family
Who is actually normal

27 Questions Too Many

by Anna Ganje

It’s 9:24, my fingers hit send on a text
High off a win, it’s a good night
I stare out the window and watch the Wisconsin countryside fly by
I wonder to myself,

When will I get a reply?

All of a sudden, a thundering boom rips me away from my thoughts
I jolt forward into a grey leather wall, my glassy eyes wide open in fear
My reflexes instantly take over, my hands brace me against the brisk material
I hear a scream

Is that my scream?

Wails and whimpers flood my ears
I turn towards the noise, it’s behind me
I can’t see the source of the crying
It’s so dark

When did it get so dark?

My phone is still clutched in my hand
I turn it on for a flashlight
There, it’s not so dark anymore
The girl in front of me wails,

“Where’s my phone?”

Someone yells, “We have blood back here!”
I am in shock, I can’t move
The bus has finally stopped sliding
My head is pounding, all I can think is,

What just happened?

The coaches walk to the back
They check on us, ask if we’re okay
And then they tell us
We hit a car

We hit a car?

I sit in my seat and turn forward
I am surrounded by 20 other girls
They are all filled with terror and worry
But I am calm, my face a blank mask

Why am I so calm?

The voice next to me croaks, “Where’s my blanket?”
I realize that I have it
It’s covering my shivering legs, I can’t feel my toes
It’s so cold

When did it get so cold?

There is no power, we are told
A brand-new bus only lasted a week
Someone jokes about not having to worry about picking up garbage
when we get off
like we normally do
If the bus is so badly damaged, then

How bad is the damage to the car?

Screeching sirens deafen my ears
Flashing red and blue lights blind me eyes
A helicopter hums in the distance
It feels like I am in the middle of a crime scene, like on T.V.

Is the accident really this serious?

EMTs hop aboard, they tell us to stay in our seats
The ones we were sitting in when the accident happened
Accident. The realization that we were in an accident now dawns on me
This is serious

What’s going to happen now?

The EMTs begin to make their way to the back
They announce that anyone with head or neck pain needs to be checked out
Some girls are ushered off the bus to get looked over
My friend is led into an ambulance, they shut the doors on her

Why would they shut the doors?

I panic now, they must be taking her to the hospital
But later I learned that they only shut the doors
So the girl couldn’t see the horrifying sight
Of the mutilated car

Why wouldn’t they want her to see the car?

The coaches tell us to call our parents
I dial the familiar numbers and my mother’s voice answers
I tell her we were in an accident and she needs to come get me
I am calm, my voice doesn’t tremble once

Why am I so calm when others aren’t?

Two ladies walk down the aisle
They need to take our information
Names, birthdays, addresses, parents’ names,
parents’ birthdays, parents’ phone numbers
When the lady gets to me, I spit out the information automatically

Why do they need to know these details?

They tell us that we need to stay on the bus
My sense of time has vanished
I don’t know how long we’ve been here—it feels like only minutes
All I know is that I want to go home

Where are my parents?

Girls start to check out and leave
I start to get anxious, I am so drained
I just want to go home
I call my mom again, she says she can see the lights

Is the scene really that big?

My backpack is missing
I look under the seats, it’s nowhere
It finally appears sitting on another seat, but not where I had left it
The zipper is wide open, but everything sits tightly packed inside, as it was before

How is everything still intact after enduring the lurch forward?

As I finally exit the bus,
Coach tells me no practice tomorrow
This seems like the most obvious thing in the world to me
I laugh

Am I allowed to laugh in a crisis like this?

When I get outside, I notice the spiderweb crack on the windshield
This surprises me for some reason
I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect visible damage
And for the first time I wonder,

How many people were in the other car?

Before I am allowed to leave, the first responders need my seat number
I can’t remember exactly where I was sitting
I try to describe to the lady where I was
She is crabby and getting impatient, she doesn’t understand what I am trying to tell her

Why is she rushing me?

The next thing I know, a firefighter is walking me down the road
I’m grateful my mom always tells me to bring my mittens, they came in handy tonight
I have never felt more alone as I walk down the middle of Highway 48
The short walk feels like an eternity

How much farther must I go?

At last I see my mom
I run into her arms and hold her tight
I know that I am safe now
I am so thankful for my family

Was there a family in that other car?

My dad walks me over to our car,
As I open the door, heat rushes out and instantly warms my cheeks
My frozen body thaws as I sit in the car and wait for my parents while they check on kids, performing their teacherly duties
I don’t feel so good, my stomach hurts

Why are my parents taking so long?

My face is wet, I am crying for the first time
There is someone inside my head, pounding on my skull
I tell myself that I’m fine, just in shock
I can’t remember,

Did I even hit my head?

I start to have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach
I can feel it, the other person didn’t survive
A car is no match for a bus
We are so lucky

Do I realize how lucky we are?

My phone vibrates
I got a reply to my text
That seemed like a lifetime ago when I sent out three little words
So much has happened, so much has changed

Why did this have to happen?

Days after, my head still throbs
Things will never be the same
Not for the 20 girls on a bus, or a lady just trying to get home for the holidays
And all I can think to myself is,


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

by Drew Granica

A cold slap in the face with every opened door
Painful shivers all the way from fingers to toes
Freezing vehicle interiors against vulnerable thighs
Blasts of cold air from the car vents before it can warm
Slush seeping through the small holes in white crocs
Ice preventing lake days with friends
Pasty white skin hidden under layers of clothes
Shorts, sandals, tank tops… all packed away
Drowning in bulky winter jackets and scratchy wool scarves
Deadly black ice pushing cars into snowy ditches
Time consuming work removing layers of new snow from wide driveways
The inability to walk outside without shoes feeling the tall green grass
Forgotten vibrant flowers and intricate butterflies
Depressing sickness bringing flowing noses and aching coughs
Lasting burns after premature sips of hot coffee
Shortening days consisting of school… school… school
Late arrivals due to the scraping of ice-covered windshields
Aching, lifeless fingers after time spent outside
Feeling the subzero steering wheel against bare palms
But isn’t winter “the most wonderful time of the year?”
Throat-warming hot cocoa after a friendly snowball fight
Exciting basketball games on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Fashionable sweaters that feel like a warm hug
Oversized, stylish flannels layered over snug sweatshirts
Exchanging of presents and laughs with family and friends
Gathering around a table jam-packed with food, giving thanks
Face-warming steam lifting from a fresh bowl of soup
Pleasing aromas wafting from a busy kitchen
Avidly watching Sunday night football in front of a crackling fire
Trophy fish emerging from holes drilled into a frozen lake
Beautiful landscapes of snow-covered trees on peaceful weekend drives
Spending quality time at a family hunting cabin sharing rib-tickling stories
Joyful cheers for the beginning of the New Year
Weekly snowshoeing treks through the new snow with a dog in tow
Soft flakes of snow landing effortlessly on an outstretched tongue
Oh, the joy the season brings
Definitely, the most wonderful time of the year

My World

by Frasie Richards

My new world will be magnificent,
Full of equality, love and kindness.
No fighting over stupid things,
The wars left far behind us.

No bulldozing of the rainforests,
Instead we’ll plant more trees
So that our future generations,
Will have clean air, to breathe.

No more big supermarkets,
In the centre of every town.
Flying in vegetables and fruit
From countries all around.

Instead we’ll all be farmers
And plough and dig and sow
We’ll educate our young
And eat what we can grow

And we’ll only take what’s needed
To thrive and to be strong
The rest we’ll share with others
Because greediness is wrong

Medicine will be available
To every man worldwide
every child and every woman
no one will be denied

Wipe out illegal drugs,
But keep the ones that heal.
Get rid of harmful chemicals,
Use nature, keep it real

Because the world we live in
Is phoney and it’s fake
We airbrush and we Instagram
For everyone else’s sake

To fit in, to be accepted
We Snapchat and we pout
Facebook likes determine
Whether we’re in or out

But behind this mask of makeup
That’s hurt animals along the way
Our mental health is suffering
Our confidence melts away

So in my new magnificent
World that’s genuine
We’ll talk, instead of texting
We’ll nurture what’s within

The internet will still be there
Because let’s face it, it is great
But we’ll police all the bullying
Exterminate the hate

What happened to love thy neighbour
We’re all so self obsessed
With celebrities and bloggers
When really, who cares less

It’s our families that love us
Social media fans don’t care
A hug and kiss emoji
Is hardly being there

To guide us when we’re lost
To nurse when we’re in pain
Our friends should be real people
Not a google username

Our children will never see plastic
Because it won’t exist
It’s polluting and killing our oceans
It REALLY won’t be missed!

My world will be much greener
Instead of black and grey
Of high-rise blocks and towers
That seem to pop up every day

Instead of building mansions
For only the privileged classes
Why not build a village
For the common masses

Rich and poor won’t be a thing
There certainly won’t be slums
Because wealth will be a thing that’s shared
No surviving on breadcrumbs

No one will go hungry
Or die because they’re cold
Homes and education will be a right
Not something to be sold

And when we have a disagreement
We’ll talk and talk some more
Because nuclear weapons, guns and knives
DON’T WORK and that’s for sure!

Trump, Putin and playground bullies
Your powers will serve no use
For in this peaceful world of mine
We don’t tolerate ABUSE

We’ll work less and we’ll play more
We’ll talk instead of fight
We’ll read and sing and dance more
We’ll say our prayers at night

Not just to our own god
No – we’ll thank all humankind
For this, magnificent new world
Where religion is put aside

We’ll celebrate our difference
We’ll share our expertise
We’ll respect each others wishes
We’ll listen to beliefs

And yes, it might not be perfect,
This whole new world I’ve designed,
But at least there’s a chance of it SURVIVING
For future generations of mankind.

I Remember

by Charlotte White

Stumbling across sludge,
each step took all my energy,
each pained breath could be my last.
I had to keep fighting, Tommy was worse.
I was deaf to the sounds of the shells and screams,
blind to the sight of the wounds and blood.
Tommy and I were the last two pals left,
edging forward and back
in an endless tug of war against our enemy,
both sides tugging on an iron rope.
Tommy’s breathing became shallower,
even he, the cheery one he used to be before,
was losing his own battle.
Wheezing and rattling, shaking with every step,
Tommy still ploughed on, my brave pal.
He looked ahead and grimaced, something was wrong.
He grunted with pain as he pushed me into a shell crater,
knocking the breath out of me.
The ground trembled, or maybe I did,
as the chattering of a machine gun filled my ears,
echoing in my brain.
After what felt like an hour, the chattering stopped,
the all too familiar sound of a fallen man
hitting the ground could be heard through the chaos.
Ears ringing, I emerged from the crater.
I see Tommy, lying still, a metre away.
I dragged my winded body over to him and closed his eyes,
he finally looked at peace.
Light starts to form in my eyes
and I fall into calm.
I’m safe now,
and I remember all of those Tommies still.

Academic Tests

by Sahaj Sabharwal

Oh these tests,
Superfluous academic tests.
No time to prepare
For entrance tests.

Difficult to store
Vast concepts in mind,
Oh how to retain so much
Till marks given and paper signed.

Bewaring that,
The examiner is not blind,
And not our by-dweller
That gives marks so kind.

All worried,
Smile crease no face.
Will we get through,
Or falter in this pace.

Parents worried about our careers
They believe books are nifty,
Smartphones are carrier’s barrier
With no sympathy.

Parents and teachers
Support and hope is essential,
In order to raise our potential.


Money Isn’t Everything

by Sahaj Sabharwal

Money can buy Food but not Nutrition.

Money can buy Gifts but not Thanks.

Money can buy Blankets but not Warmth.

Money can buy Books but not Knowledge.

Money can buy Blood but not Life.

Money can buy Clocks but not Time.

Money can buy Air Conditioners but not coolness.

Money can buy Bulbs but not Brightness.

Money can buy High Post but not Respect.

Money can buy Sugar but not Sweetness.



by Sahaj Sabharwal

*1Respect is the desire of everybody’s mind,

But is only given to people who are kind.

*2Respect is given to those who deserve it,

And is not given to those who are unfit for it.

*3Respect is like a fuel of life,

Without which a man cannot work rife.

*4Respect to our elders plays an important role,

As it’s the blessing to achieve our goal.

*5Respect is like a bullet from a gun,

Which Travels with us in the long run.

*6Respect when given to all,

His reputation will never fall.



by Sahaj Sabharwal

You are my pain curing,
You are my thoughts hearing,
You are my progress rising,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.

I am trying to be good,
Don’t worry I am like developing wood,
Your eye is only on me stood,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.

Whenever I am being scolded,
You are advising me to keep hold,
And not to lose hope on being scolded,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.

I am trying to do the best I could,
But you are behind me & walks to extent you should,
Without your help I am misunderstood,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.

You are that person who blessed me like a tactor,
You are my benefactor,
And don’t let me lose hope,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.

To score the highest marks,
And to get good remarks
You always advised me to do my best,
And after that take some time to rest,
That’s why this soul of mine is good.


Book One

by Alex Modlin

Grandalf the wizard, he tarreyed and towed
Grandalf the grey, on his way he did go
He made haste to the Shire, to meet with his old friend
To meet with Bilbo Baggins, in his home at Bag End

Frodo Baggins, the ring he does bear
Sam Gamgee, forever faithful and fair
Merry and Pippin, unforgettable friends
On the journey they set, to the end they all went.

When he met with the Hobbit, he asked of me the Ring
Bilbo denounced all its evil and let it fling
He left from the Shire, whistling he went
And Grandalf did leave, for he was all spent

Aragon the Heir, he fought like a king
Boromir the Captain, he let his horn ring
Legolas and Gimli, Dwarf and Elf friend
On the journey they set, to the end they on went

To Breed they did go, escape from their foe
They left Bree with Strider, Black riders in tow
They stayed upon weathertop, by fire light
It served as a beacon, so very bright

Sauron the dark,in his tower of power
Saraman of many colours, whose mood has grown dour
Theoden King,deceived he believed
On the way they did go, friend and/ or foe

Frodo was struck, by Morgul blade
And they went, they all saw him fade
By Rivendell at the ford, the enemy held back in their horde
In quick accord, the battle was won and to Rivendell they did run

Elrond of Rivendell, he helped at the ford
Durin the Deathless, old Moria’s Lord
Galadriel her movements slight, gifted upon them was her light
They stayed in place, of Elder Days and still yet, they did not decay